Getting Your Point Across – 5 Ways to Make A Great Presentation
Whether you are making a presentation to secure funding, convince your board of directors to vote in a certain way, or to sway public opinion, it is critical that you are able to get your point across in a clear, succinct way. To help you engage your audience, here are 5 ways to make a great presentation.
1. Condense your main ideas
Condense your main ideas to the point that they can clearly be stated in one or two sentences. This is often referred to as an “elevator speech”, meaning a pitch that is short enough to be given to someone on an elevator ride, which usually lasts one to two minutes. If the elevator speech is well received, the audience will be open to further elaboration.
2. Practice your presentation
Begin by going over the presentation in your mind and organizing your thoughts. Once you have a clear idea of what you want to say, practice aloud in front of a mirror followed by a small audience made up of family members or close friends.
3. Never read your speech
Don’t ever read a speech unless you want to put your audience to sleep. Instead, list the bullet points you want to cover and refer to them as needed. Pick out a friendly face in the audience and speak to that individual – then move on to another friendly face. Make sure your story has a clear beginning and end, and flows well in between. Summarize the main points you want to drive home. Keep your message short and on track. Practice your body language to the point it looks like you are comfortable and are enjoying yourself.
4. Illustrate your point with a story
Audiences love stories. Invent a story that shows the importance of implementing your ideas, or the disastrous results that will follow if your ideas are not considered. Perhaps you can find a real life story to use that your audience will identify with, such as a prior occurrence in your work place.
5. Keep it simple and avoid information overload
Never make your audience feel like they are in a college lecture to be followed by a test. Avoid messy graphics that would only confuse your audience. Instead, consider interactive infographic examples that will engage your audience and hold their attention in order to clearly convey your point.
The main purpose of any presentation is to clearly convey a message or get a point across. Hopefully, these five tips will help you accomplish that.